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Planet Smashers is a vertically scrolling shooter similar to Xevious. Power ups can be captured by destroying cargo ships. Power ups include improved weapons, shield restoration, and cloaking ability. Cargo ships also drop warp capsules that the player needs to collect in order to proceed to the level boss. One difference in this game that sets it apart from others of the same type is the Earth Shield. Every time the player lets a ship go by unscathed the Earth Shield depletes a little. If the shield is destroyed, it's game over.